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Posts tagged: Jobs forum

USDA Led Forum Works to Create a Blueprint for Job Creation in Wisconsin

Nearly 80 people gathered at Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire, Wis. to participate in the Forum for the Future . . . Pathways to Wisconsin Job Creation event.

The job forum, co-hosted by USDA Rural Development, Chippewa Valley Technical College and USDA Farm Service Agency, primarily focused on generating ideas and creating a blueprint to help initiate job growth in Wisconsin.

Panelists and attendees, together, explored ways to rejuvenate and promote local businesses; creating jobs by rebuilding  and improving infrastructure; supporting job growth among small businesses; preparing workers for today’s job market; and the sustainability of Wisconsin jobs, specifically in the energy sector.

“USDA Rural Development is committed to facilitating sustainable job growth in Wisconsin with partners like Chippewa Valley Technical College; and with all the wonderful ideas produced by this forum, I believe we’re off to a good start,” said Stan Gruszynski, USDA Rural Development State Director.  “The Federal Government is working diligently to create jobs and having input from community leaders is vital to the proceeding steps we take.”

Panelists at the Wisconsin job forum Include:

Stan Gruszynski, State Director, USDA Rural Development as the Moderator; Bruce Barker, President, Chippewa Valley Technical College; Brad Pfaff, State Director, Farm Service Agency; Steve Blodgett, District Director, WI Department of Workforce Development; Tom Lyon, Senior Policy Advisor, WI Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection; Greg Nycz, Executive Director, Family Health Center of Marshfield, Inc.; Mary Patoka, Executive Director, CAP Services; John Rosenow, Wisconsin Dairyman and Small Business Owner; Scott Schultz, Executive Director, Wisconsin Farmers Union; Mike Stifter, Director of Facilities, UW River Falls Sustainability Institute; and Rick Terrien, Executive Director, Iowa County Economic Development Corporation.

Attendees of the job forum, from feedback gathered almost unanimously, agreed that the event was informational and will ultimately help to generate a focus on future job creation for the state of Wisconsin. Numerous positive comments, ideas, and suggestions were received.

Critical elements for Wisconsin’s rural economy and job market, according to the attendees are; next generation interest and retention in rural areas and in agriculture, taking advantage of new technologies, better paying jobs, increased education and training, and knowledge of financial resources offered by local, state and federal agencies.  Additional concerns include access to needed healthcare and the availability of credit lending to small businesses and entrepreneurs.

The recommendations and information from the forum will be compiled into a formal report and submitted to the White House; as well as sent to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Wisconsin Congressional and Senatorial Representatives, and attendees.

Job forum Wisonsin

Stan Gruszynski, USDA Rural Development State Director, addresses the attendees at the job forum held at Chippewa Valley Technical College Gateway Campus in Eau Claire Tuesday.

Job forum Wisconsin

Tom Lyon, left, Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection, speaks with Bruce Barker and Diane Pavelski of Chippewa Valley Technical College before the job forum started Tuesday morning.

Submitted by: Kelly Edwards, Wisconsin Public Information Coordinator, USDA Rural Development

To view a recording of the Eau Claire jobs forum go to: http://www.cvtc.edu/videos/asx/events/usda-forum.asx

To learn more, go to the Rural Development and FSA Job Roundtables Schedule, and the News Release, “USDA to Host Roundtables on Jobs, Economic Growth

Business Owners, Residents, Community Leaders Share Ideas on Creating Jobs in Greenville, South Carolina

The U.S. Department of Agriculture sponsored a Presidential Roundtable Forum on job creation for South Carolina at the Greenville County Library in Greenville yesterday, bringing together community leaders to brainstorm solutions to high unemployment numbers and the impact on rural areas.

“This forum provides an opportunity to share ideas on creating jobs and economic opportunities,” said Vernita F. Dore, state director of USDA Rural Development in South Carolina.  “Government can help lay the groundwork for economic growth, but the best ideas for continued growth and job creation often come from local communities. We need the best ideas to share with the Obama Administration.”

The roundtable included business owners, residents, state and local officials, union members, non-profit organizations, community leaders, economists, educators and others interested in job creation and economic stability.

Dore said, “This is the fourth job forum that Rural Development has held in South Carolina and what we are finding is that people are very responsive and welcome the opportunity to take an active part in their future and the future of South Carolina by brainstorming together to come up with solutions. The rate of unemployment in South Carolina is currently 12.6 percent. That is unacceptable. The primary purpose of these forums is to find ways to put South Carolinians back to work.

“Furthermore,” Dore continued, “We are here, not only to listen to the leaders of rural communities and their ideas, but also to remind them that Rural Development has the resources to meet the needs of their communities.”

The Forum was sponsored by USDA Rural Development and the Farm Service Agency.

Carthel Crout, Mayor of Williamston, South Carolina, came the Job Forum in Greenville with hopes of improving the water and sewer system in his town.

Carthel Crout, Mayor of Williamston, South Carolina, came the Job Forum in Greenville with hopes of improving the water and sewer system in his town.

"We need more incentives to embrace small business," said Thomasena Holloway, Business Owner and Entrepreneur.

"We need more incentives to embrace small business," said Thomasena Holloway, Business Owner and Entrepreneur.

Submitted by Marlous Black, South Carolina Rural Development Public Information Coordinator

To learn more, go to the Rural Development and FSA Job Roundtables Schedule, and the News Release, “USDA to Host Roundtables on Jobs, Economic Growth

Hoosier Business Owners, Residents, and Community Leaders Share Ideas on Creating Jobs, Economic Growth

The United States Department of Agriculture hosted a roundtable on job creation and economic growth Friday at Indiana Farm Bureau in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana.  Approximately 130 individuals attended the event aimed at exploring new ideas and solutions for a rapid economic recovery across Indiana rural communities along with plans to generate Hoosier jobs.

“The forum provided an opportunity for residents, business owners and community leaders across the state to share ideas on creating jobs and economic opportunities,” Phil Lehmkuhler, USDA Rural Development Indiana State Director said.  “Government can help lay the groundwork for economic growth, but the best ideas for continued growth and job creation often come from local and community leaders.  I am anxious to forward the ideas presented today to the Administration.”

Indiana job forum attendees

Indiana job forum attendees

Joining USDA Rural Development as co-sponsors of the forum were USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Indiana Department of Agriculture, and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA).

“Collaboration is key for a prosperous and robust agricultural industry in Indiana. The coalition of hosts for this roundtable discussion is indicative of the diverseness of the agricultural interests in our state. Indiana FSA programs are available every day to help provide resources to farmers during this extraordinary time of economic challenge. FSA proudly serves the American farmer and consumer, and offers programs ranging from conservation to commodity operations and from farm loans to biomass energy. FSA stands ready to assist whomever walks through our doors in rural Indiana,” said Julia A. Wickard, State Executive Director of the USDA Farm Service Agency.

“It’s important for the state and federal agencies to come together to collaborate on local economic growth.  NRCS is able to bring dollars into local communities through the conservation Farm Bill programs, including increased incentives to beginning and limited resource farmers.  We also have staff working on community development projects throughout the state in local Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) offices, which offer many opportunities for collaboration,” said NRCS State Conservationist Jane Hardisty.

“Rural Indiana faces unique challenges in today’s tough economy,” said David Terrell, Executive Director of the Office of Community and Rural Affairs.  “The roundtable was an opportunity to discuss creative ways to build economic capacity in our state’s rural communities.”

“I am excited to see discussion continuing to take place on improving and sustaining improvements in rural Indiana,” said Indiana Agriculture Director Joe Kelsay.  “Agriculture has been a cornerstone of Indiana’s economy throughout its history and will continue to play a critical role in our nation’s economic recovery and future.  Agriculture is a key player to bring jobs, capital investment and wealth to our communities through enhanced partnerships with businesses and citizens who share the same desire for Indiana to succeed.”

The roundtable included business owners, residents, state and local officials, non-profit organizations, community leaders, economists, and other interested parties.  Participants discussed steps that can to be taken to grow the economy and put Americans back to work.

The forum was moderated by Elaine Fischer of Ball State University’s Building Better Communities.

Submitted by Darrell J. Mowery

Public Information Coordinator

USDA Rural Development

Indiana State Office
To learn more, go to the Rural Development and FSA Job Roundtables Schedule, and the News Release, “USDA to Host Roundtables on Jobs, Economic Growth

About 120 Turn Out For a USDA Sponsored Jobs Forum in Ohio

Ohio’s difficult economic conditions, coupled with a genuine desire to create more statewide employment opportunities, prompted more than 120 Ohioans to participate in the state’s January 21, 2010 Jobs Forum. Read more »

Puerto Rico Community, Leaders Shares Ideas on Creating and Maintaining Jobs in Puerto Rico

José Otero-García, USDA Rural Development State Director, and Juan Ortiz, Farm Service Director, Sponsored a Presidential Roundtable Forum on job creation for Puerto Rico. The roundtable follows the Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth that President Obama hosted at the White House on December 3, 2009.

Fifty-two persons joined together to work in creating jobs. The activity was covered by TV Channel 13 and Primera Hora Newspaper. The diversity of issues discussed was amazing and the group was composed of the best Professionals in their field.

The information provided from the discussion will be sent and provided to Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and President Obama for consideration.

Job Forum Puerto RicoThe Honorable Lucy Arce, Senator of Puerto Rico, José Otero-García USDA RD State Director for Puerto Rico and Juan Ortiz, Farm Service Director at a jobs forum last week.

Submitted by Miguel A. Ramírez, Rural Development Public Affairs Coordinator for Puerto Rico.

To learn more, go to the Rural Development and FSA Job Roundtables Schedule, and the News Release, “USDA to Host Roundtables on Jobs, Economic Growth

Kansas USDA Holds ‘Rural Jobs Roundtable’ at 2010 Kansas Workforce Summit

USDA Rural Development State Director Patty Clark and Kansas FSA State Executive Director Adrian Polansky hosted a roundtable on job creation and economic growth in association with the 2010 Kansas Workforce Summit in Topeka. The “Rural Jobs Roundtable” was a special session at the summit and a follow-up to a national Jobs Forum held in December by President Obama.

A diverse group of over 150 business owners, educators, community leaders, economic development and workforce professionals, state, county, and city governments were in attendance.

State Director Clark was the moderator of the panel which included Mr. Polansky;  John Cyr, Director of Special Projects, North Central Regional Planning Commission; Mike Michaelis, Executive Director, Ellis County Coalition for Economic Development; Ed Martin, President/Chairman of the Board, Kaw Valley State Bank & Trust, Wamego; and Caleb Asher, Deputy Secretary, Workforce Development, Kansas Department of Commerce.

Comments from those in attendance included:

Participants and panelists stressed the importance of small business ownership transition in rural communities.  Rural community bankers expressed concern that they are being disproportionally penalized through increased fees and regulations.

Audience participants also asked if USDA Rural Development could consider adjustments to the Business Loan Guarantee program that would mitigate the up-front costs for business plans and feasibility studies, especially for smaller loans.  In particular, they noted that business start-ups associated with local and regional food systems currently have to finance the cost of a business plan and feasibility study for loans $50,000-$100,000 and those costs deter loan application.

The audience included representation from workforce development organizations and many rural manufacturing companies.  Collectively they emphasized the importance of education and workforce training in trade skills such as construction, precision manufacturing, electrical, etc.

Panelists and participants also stressed the importance of partnerships, especially when resources are limited.  During the Summit, the Governor of  Kansas announced receipt of a $6,000,000 grant from DOE for Green Job Training.  Partnerships with other federal agencies such as USDA Rural Development were discussed to extend and leverage the DOE/Kansas investment through business financing.

Participants were encouraged to fill out a seven question survey at the summit, or link to an electronic survey provided by the Kansas Farm Service Agency at www.fsa.usda.gov.ks before January 28th.

Job Forum Kansas (R-L) Adrian Polansky, Farm Service Agency Executive Director; Mike Michaelis, Executive Director, Ellis County Coalition for Economic Development; John Cyr, Director of Special Projects, North Central Regional Planning Commission; Ed Martin, President/Chairman of the Board, Kaw Valley State Bank & Trust, Wamego; Caleb Asher, Deputy Secretary, Workforce Development, Kansas Department of Commerce; and moderating the ‘Rural Jobs Roundtable’, USDA Rural Development State Director Patty Clark.

Kansas Job ForumOver 150 business owners, educators, community leaders, economic development and workforce professionals, state, county, and city governments participated in the Kansas USDA ‘Rural Jobs Roundtable’

Kansas Job ForumSubmitted by Harold Alford, Public Information Specialist on behalf of State Director Patty Clark

To learn more, go to the Rural Development and FSA Job Roundtables Schedule, and the News Release, “USDA to Host Roundtables on Jobs, Economic Growth